Once again, the TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa will be part of the BLANCPAIN ENDURANCE SERIES in 2013. Organised by SRO Motorsports Group with the support of BLANCPAIN, PIRELLI and the ROYAL AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF BELGIUM, the international series has become in just two seasons the reference point of GT racing worldwide. The TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa is based on the BLANCPAIN ENDURANCE SERIES regulations and is perfectly adapted to the specification of such a great race.
The technical definition: 3 categories - 4 podiums
All cars taking part in the Total 24 Hours of Spa are exclusively FIA GT3 cars. The balance of performance is applied to homogenise the performance of very different cars. The cars are divided into three distinct categories: PRO or professional, with three drivers per car, PRO-AM for crews consisting of professionals and amateurs and the Gentlemen Trophy category for amateur drivers only. PRO / AM and GENTLEMEN categories accepts four driver crews.
The King’s Cup: A rebirth
For years, it was part of the Total 24 Hours of Spa. For 2013, the King’s Cup returns to reward the best manufacturer represented. Points will be awarded at 6, 12 and 24 hours. The top three cars per manufacturer in PRO, the top two in PRO-AM and the best one in Gentlemen Trophy score points for the Cup. The winners will appear on the podium.
Before the race: testing and qualifying
When the race begins at 16:30 on Saturday, each car will already have run on approximately 60 laps. The aim is to allow teams to prepare their cars, and for the drivers to get used to the circuit. Each driver must make a qualifying time, at least 130% of the fastest time, and also conduct three night laps on Thursday. The top 20 will compete in the Superpole session which will take place on Friday and where they will have two laps to make the best possible time, and for the glory of being on pole.
24 divided by 65
With 12 different manufacturers taking part in the race, it is obvious that all cars have an equal chance of winning. In addition to the Balance of Performance that changes the weight and air restrictors of the car, autonomy is equalised by the regulations. In fact, cars can only have a stint of 65 minutes maximum, and then must return to the pits. However, there is a safety margin if the safety car is on the track.
The pits at Spa
It is often said that the car which spends less time in the pits, usually wins. Every 65 minutes, each car returns to the pitlane - the longest in the world at Spa. Stopping in front of the garage, the car will be refuelled and then, if necessary, the driver and the tyres will be changed, and small checks will be made. Only four people may work on the car, so if the car needs to be fixed, this year it will have to be wheeled back in to the garage.
Points, points, points
In addition to being the greatest race in the world for GT3 cars, the TOTAL 24 HOURS OF SPA is also an integral part of the 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series. The teams and drivers score points towards the 2013 title. In addition to the usual points structure at the end of the race, points are also awarded to the top 9 after 6 and 12 hours in each category. All cars score points, if they are entered for the full season or race by race. For teams with more than one car in the category, only the highest placed car scores points.
How to follow the 2013 TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa
For this, the 65th edition of the TOTAL 24 HOURS OF SPA, SRO Motorsports Group and the RACB will aim to offer the public a perfect event with new opportunities for the fans to follow the action.
This is one of the great innovations of the 2013 edition of the race. All cars will have a high luminescence LED display on the windscreen that indicates its current position in the race. This will make it as convenient to follow the event from the grandstands and spectator banks as on the internet or on live TV. Each category will be distinct through its own colour on the windscreen.
This year, four screens will be installed to the delight of the spectators. Facing the endurance tribune, at Les Combes, in the village and in the Endurance paddock.
Follow the live rankings. On each entry wristband you can flash a QR code that will put you on line with the ‘BLANCPAIN GT app’ that will allow you to track rankings and follow live-timing directly on your smartphone.
See the race live with rankings and interviews on www.blancpain-endurance-series.com for the English version and on www.24hoursofspa.com and also www.endurance-info.com for Flemish and French respectively.
Endurance-info will take you to the heart of the event throughout the week as you will discover going to the backstage of the race. From the Medical Centre, concert, race director, Stewards of the Meeting, pits, tyres, fuel distribution, paddock set-up, the Endurance-info newsroom will not only give you insight but will also look forward to hearing from you too. The GT3 press conference will take place on Wednesday morning, where you can discover all about the GT3 cars displayed by the teams with the presence of an engineer and a driver who will answer your questions. Grid walk passes can be acquired to get closer to the action including passenger’s laps in a Lamborghini Gallardo.
LOTTO Point for Information
The LOTTO point for information in the village will offer complete race and rankings information.
RTBF & Motors TV
The Belgian motorsport RTBF channel and the European Motors TV channel will broadcast the race with an unprecedented new device that will be unveiled during the presentation of the event. Highlights will also be broadcast on RTL Nitro in Germany on Sunday and on Eurosport on the Tuesday following the event.
The 2013 program has been made for the public
The programme this year is deliberately targeted towards the audience with the parade of the cars on Wednesday, from the circuit to the city of Spa.
A pitwalk with autograph sessions will be open to the public on Thursday at 19:25, on Friday at 17:50 and for people having a paddock ticket, on Saturday at 13:25. The evenings at Spa will be full of action as spectacular night practice, held on Thursday evening from 20:00 until 23:30 sees plenty of colourful action. The Super Pole between the best GT drivers in the world will be held on Friday evening at 18:35. The big REDFOO and Crew concert will be on Saturday night.
Blancpain - Over 275 years of tradition in motion
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit.
From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past eight years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 29 new calibres. Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit. Its range encompasses the sportive L-evolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the Women models.
Pirelli – Official Tyre Supplier to the Blancpain Endurance Series
Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer and world leader in the automotive industry. It has an exclusive relationship with over 50 racing series worldwide, including Formula One.
Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world.
The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of the Blancpain Endurance Series while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past.
The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded P Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One. The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.